Jackie Kellso

Shed the “Corporate” Persona and Just Be You!

In authentic power, character vs. personality, Connecting, connecting with people, Corporate Persona, diplomacy and tact, humanity, impress, kids, leadership, letting go, person to person dynamics, Reputation, self-image, self-improvement, sharing information, transparency, trust, working relationships on January 10, 2018 at 7:17 pm

It’s now 2:04pm on a Monday.  If I was addressing a classroom of three year-olds and said, “It’s time to act like little, furry, meowing kittens, everyone,” not one kid would say, “Hey, that would make me look silly.”  The kids would just go for it; taking the opportunity to show off their interpretations of kittens, with glee.  There wouldn’t be one child in that room that would be afraid of how he or she was perceived; there wouldn’t be a thought to block their natural sparkle.

On the other hand, it’s now 2:04pm on a Monday and we’re at a company meeting when the boss requires us to communicate what we truly feel on a subject.  We find ourselves falling over our words.  How do I say this without giving myself away?  How do I make the point without being vulnerable to criticism?  How do I share this honestly when it also involves my co-workers?  How do I present my ideas openly without getting slammed for them?

What happened to the three year-old who would act like a kitten if only asked?

We worry that we are at risk of creating the wrong perception because corporate life isn’t kindergarten and it doesn’t encourage the humanity, character, and honesty that are natural to us.  It uses us as job functions and demands a protocol and persona that makes us blend in.  So over time, we become encased in a shell of protection against the forces; we become so withdrawn from our true selves that we don’t take risks to reveal what makes us unique, to speak our minds, or even to be playful!

I say to you that it actually takes more energy to hide than to reveal who we are and that a veneer robs us of our freedom.  It ends up adding to our misery and our stress. The good news is that we can step out of that suit of armor at any time and simply be ourselves.

1. Tell the truth.  Always with kindness and compassion.

2. Dare to say what must be said (diplomatically and tactfully) without condemning others. Back up your point with evidence.

3. Let down your guard.  If you feel that demonstrating an idea in a goofy or frenzied way, do it to dramatize your point.  People will get a kick out of it and your message will be the one that people remember.

5. Look beyond the surface when interacting with others.  See the humanity and realness of your co-workers.  What unique qualities about them were behind a job well done? Recognize their attributes and tell them what you admire about them.

6. Protect yourself.  Don’t go out of your way to feel vulnerable by sharing too much. Rather, give people a a sense of how you feel and what you think by daring not to hide.  It builds trust.

7. Think of yourself as a leader who is transparent.  It’s the key to shedding ‘the persona’ on behalf of the person you are. It creates safety and support for others to follow; it breaks apart the veneer.

By taking this concept under consideration, you will feel a new sense of power and freedom in being authentic.  It can activate your creativity, you can have more fun at work, and might even find yourself purring once in awhile…

Personally yours,

Jackie

Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc., with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Experiencing Change? Say Yes to Reality.

In ambiguous future, arguing with reality, career challenges, career change, career path, change, chaos, chinese symbol for crisis, confusion, control, coping with pressure at work, corporate life, opportunity for change, organizational change, reality, stress and worry, Uncategorized, work-related problems, work-related stress on November 20, 2017 at 8:04 pm

When you argue with reality you lose — but only 100% of the time. — Byron Katie

I’ve had talks with CEOs of companies as of late, who are very concerned with the reactions and resistance people are having to the concept of change. With downsizing and realignment, new management, less resources — there is a rise in resistance and a drop in morale.

I’m not suggesting the problem isn’t real — corporate changes are complex and difficult. But, the true problem is that for anyone not opting for the new reality, it brings about feelings of uncertainty. Lack of security. Fear.

Fear shuts down the view that change could lead to opportunity and growth. The brain is wired to react to fear in ways that protect us from perceived threat. It calls upon its usual defenses so we can stew in how bad and wrong and unfair life is. The payoff of the fear is that we get to judge others decisions and decide they are wrong. But at the end of the day, who suffers the most? You do. Arguing with reality is futile.

When we fight organizational change we limit our own freedoms because we aren’t using our executive thinking powers to be creative and resourceful. When we accept and surrender to what is, we have limitless potential to make decisions about how we’re going to respond and what our plan will be through the change.

I know this experience only too well. I remember being let go from a long standing job with absolutely no discussion, no explanation, nothing I would have deemed as being respectful to me. I kept rolling the thoughts around my head: How evil!! How could they treat me this way!! How dare they!!!! Well, after stewing in my anger for a time, and feeling rejected, I saw that my thoughts were blocking me from making the reality work in my favor. The void left me a wide open door for change and opportunity that I could create. I could learn something new. I could make new connections. I could live perfectly well without this job even if it took awhile to get back the income. No company could take away the good that was coming my way as long as I kept my eye on what I could control.

I remember once hearing Reverend Jesse Jackson on Larry King Live say, “Death is the only certainty in life.” So, given that truth, it’s beneficial to give up the illusion of security that things will remain as they are.

If you are facing uncomfortable change in your organization, here’s what you can do:

  1. Acknowledge your discomfort, your grievance, your views.
  2. Then, decide to go with the flow and stop insisting that the change is wrong.
  3. Ask yourself some questions about the new reality: What’s best for me? Should I stay or should I go? Can I learn from this? How will this change benefit me as a person? How do I detach from taking this as a personal threat, and surrender into acceptance? What paths are now open for me to pursue?

As I understand it, there exists a symbol in Chinese that means both “crisis and opportunity.” It’s all in how you perceive it. Reality = opportunity. Go for it.

Realistically speaking,

Jackie

Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc., with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Your Reputation. Is it Built on Character or Personality?

In business relationships, career, career coaching, character, character vs. personality, communicating, communication, communication skills, Dale Carnegie, effective communicating, executive coaching, How to Win Friends and Influence People, human relations, human relations principles, leadership, Michael Fertik, people skills, personal development, personal growth, personality, professional behavior, professional development, Professional Reputation, Reputation, self-help, Susan Cain, Uncategorized, Warren Susman on November 1, 2017 at 9:46 pm

If you think about the concept of professional reputation, when was the last time you wondered:  do my colleagues see how honorable, compassionate and humble I am? We generally don’t lose any sleep over this. There’s no cultural need to compete when it comes to character.  Now, that’s not true when it comes to personality. Have you ever felt competitive or even inadequate around others whom you see as being more charismatic, dynamic and magnetic than you?

Traits associated with character: integrity, compassion, generosity, humility, fairness, etc.  Traits associated with personality: charisma, dynamism, poise, magnetism, attractive, etc.  The questions are: which one creates the right reputation, and which one will help us move ahead in our chosen professions?

I came upon an interesting article written by Reputation.com’s CEO, Michael Fertik, entitled, “We Just Hired a Chief People Officer (Why you should too).” In it he describes the importance of the move to drive the values of the company through its people. I love this idea because it’s a charge he’s putting upon his employees to sustain a ‘culture of character’.

Susan Cain, in her book, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking,” spends a full chapter on “The Rise of the Mighty Likable Fellow,” which delves into the shift in the late 1800s from a “Culture of Character” (a term coined by cultural historian, Warren Susman) to an early 20th century, “Culture of Personality.”

Ms. Cain’s book discusses how the industrial revolution caused the shift in ideology as a result of people moving from quiet country-life into growing cities at the turn of the 20th century.  To find work, they had to compete.  They had to stand out.  And so, who among the great heroes should emerge out of this shift? Mr. Dale Carnegie. He became the expert in how to be liked, how to persuade, how to gain the attention of others; to thrive in urban life. Timing being perfect for such skills, Mr. Carnegie launched his first public speaking course in 1912 at the YMCA in Harlem, New York!

Susan Cain writes that Mr. Carnegie was a self-help “Culture of Personality” guru, and I can understand why that is true.  As an emerging leader of methods that helped people compete, get jobs, keep up with the Joneses, they needed winning personalities.  I am also compelled to add that he was a very powerful proponent of the importance of  character.  His book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” was a user’s manual and the title fulfills its promise. However, if you carefully read his 30 Human Relations Principles, (the foundation for the book’s material) they speak to character. Here’s a sampling:

Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.

Give honest, sincere appreciation.

Show genuine interest in others.

Respect the other person’s opinion.

Let the other person save face.

These principles are about humility, compassion and gratitude.  Mr. Carnegie never lost sight of his own small-town upbringing and the importance of building a reputation based on being humanitarian.  103 years later, his work is still teaching us about the importance of character and how to build the characteristics associated with likable personalities.

So, what does reputation hinge upon?  I’d say that we should follow Mr. Carnegie’s thinking:  we need to have likable personalities that grow through skill-development (such as communicating well, presenting ourselves with confidence, etc.) in order to compete in this “Culture of Personality.” We should also remember that the constancy and source of our humanity – the foundation our personalities are built upon, flows out of true character.

Gratefully yours,

Jackie

Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc., with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.